Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My only successful crop this year

I only planted one small bit of sweet potatoes but it was my best crop. I planted in a tall planter and just left it to grow. The vines went everywhere I even cut them back once. I talked to a gentleman to the farmers market he said I shouldn't have done that said its better to just let them grow. Even though it was only a small amount I did get a whole bunch of sweet potatoes.  They have to sit for 2 weeks at least before they'll be sweet. I'm going to let them sit till Thanksgiving and serve them up for Thanksgiving dinner.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who Knew?

I have always had a special place in my heart for Wolves.  They are beautiful creatures who care for their family and help remove the sick and elderly from heads to make them stronger.

Monday, October 20, 2014

No More Magic at Disney World!

Hello all,  I have been studying for the Florida State teachers Exam.  I was suppose to take it last Tuesday but a storm came through the night before and when I went to the exam site all their computers were down.  I am now taking it Thursday so wish me luck.

You might be wondering about my title....We we went to Disney World this summer.  Where before it had always been a fun filled trip this time was a total different story.

Lets start with the Magic Hour... that wonderful extra hour you get when you stay in one of the Disney resort hotels.  Well forget it... it is no longer worth the fantastic fortune you will spend to stay on site.  They have built up the resorts so much and are adding more that you will wait in just as long a line as those who stay off resort.  We went to check out the new Seven Dwarf Mine Train (a big disappointment in itself) using the early morning hour.  First you are herded like cattle with so much pushing and shoving that you would be best to avoid taking younger children during this time.  We finally got to the ride and lucked out with only a 5 minute wait.  I say lucked out because by the time we got off the ride the line was already up to 80 minutes... this is during the early hour where before we never had to wait more then 5 minutes for any ride.

The new Seven Dwarf Mine Train was a terrible disappointment.  The cannibalized the orignial Snow White ride, which they shut down for being "too Scary"... I am sorry but if it was not too scary to allow your child to watch Snow White then this ride is not too Scary.  If your child was frightened by the Snow White movie then what the hell are you doing on the ride.  Anyway... They took the mine and the part where they were dancing in the cottage and put it on a mild rollercoster.  I don't mind the mild rollercoster ...I think it is great there are roller coaster for young children to enjoy... but this was more Six Flags then Disney Magic.  Folks if you are going to Disney and want to try this ride if the line is longer then 10 minutes dont waste your time!!!

Next they are destroying Epcot...I always loved Epcot the only thing I ever wanted to change was for them to add more culturally significant displays...I mean Japan is all stores and they have a hell of a history!  What are they doing ... they are taking one of the FEW culturally significant areas of Epcot and filling it with stuff that belongs in the Magic Kingdom.  I am of course talking about Norway.. First they took Stave Church which had an exhibit on Norway culture and filled it with Frozen stuff.  Next they are destroying the Maelstrom which is a flume type ride which riders "seek the spirit of Norway" and are making it into another Frozen Attraction.  There is plenty of room they could have built on a new area of the Magic Kingdom to house Frozen in all its glory which would alleviate the over crowding caused by supersizing their resorts but instead they chose to go the cheap route and mess up one of the few areas of Epcot that allows you to experience part of another countries culture.

My last bit of disillusionment came when I got home... I do not usually buy souvenirs when we go on vacation because I am trying to un-clutter my life and photos are a better souvenir that does not take up much space.  This was the exception..

Isn't it adorable. It is call Micky's Mini Garden It was grown from one of the the cells of the Dragon Fruit plants they have in their green houses.  It is suppose to be a sterile environment which you let it grow until it starts to get too big for its jar.  Then you transplant it.  Well stuff started growing in the Gel.  I tried contacting Disney Customer service to find out what I should do but never heard back from them.  

When "stuff" had almost covered the entire gel I decided to take it out and plant it.  This is what it looked like when I took the Dragon Fruit out of it.... Pretty sterile huh!

Here is my little Dragon Fruit I hope what ever that was growing in its "sterile" environment was not hazardous to my health and I hope it stays alive.  It is so tiny I had to use tweezers to get it out of the jar I hope I didn't damage it. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oktoberfest Cravings Satisfied

My son was volunteering for a charity and their booth was at an Oktoberfest fair.  All the super tasty smells that were filling the air was driving me nuts.  I didn't buy anything that on Saturday but decided I would try and make something myself. I whipped up a batch of chicken schnitzel...something I have never made. 

 Have a look and tell me what you think.

 It gets four stars from the Sargent family even my picky son thought it was great.  I got this recipe from Bon Appetit. Here is a link to their website:  BON APPETIT

Chicken Schnitzel INGREDIENTS

 • 4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8-inch thickness
 • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 • 1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
 • 2 large eggs
 • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
 • 2 cups (or more) whole wheat (or regular) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
 • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
 • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
 • Chopped flat-leaf parsley
 • Lemon wedges

 • • Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate. Beat eggs and Dijon mustard to blend in a shallow baking dish. Place 1 cup panko in another shallow baking dish, adding remaining 1 cup panko, or more, to dish as needed throughout process. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly; carefully coat with panko, pressing panko gently to adhere to chicken. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet.
 • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat (pan should be large enough to hold 2 breasts) Add 2 chicken breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes. (I actually had to do them one at a time since that was all that would fit in the pan.) 

Transfer chicken breasts to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter to skillet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts. Transfer chicken breasts to plates and garnish each with parsley and a lemon wedge.

 • RECIPE BY Jeanne Kelley

 I served it with new potatoes and roasted garlic...not very Austrian I guess but it all tasted fabulous!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sorry its been awhile

My first Summer here in Florida did not go well.  The heat and humidity was so oppressive that I just didn't have the energy for anything.  Even when I took the dogs out first thing in the morning (even before the sun rose) the heat and humidity was miserable even the dogs didn't want to play and only half halfheartedly chased after the squirrels invading our yard.

My garden didn't do so well either the bugs got the squash and the watermelon. I didn't want to spray bug killer because of the toads I had living there  I was hoping they would get the bugs before the bugs did too much damage but no luck.

 I had lots of flowers on my tomatoes and peppers but no visits from the bees.  My sweet potatoes are the only thing that seem to be thriving  I cant wait to dig them up to see what I get.

Now I am working as a substitute teacher which is a lot of fun but not exactly steady work and I am debating on taking an evening job to keep the cash rolling in.

Even the arrival of my favorite squash in the market didn't lift my funk ... yes even my fall favorite the pumpkin failed to cheer me up.

Fortunately the last two days have been wonderfully cool ... I was even able to leave my windows open all day yesterday.... It was fabulous...  If the weather was like that more often I could understand why people would want to retire here.  You can hang out in an air conditioned building anywhere but here it feels like you are trapped.  I didn't even take my daily walks and I could actually feel myself become more lethargic.

However now that my Hubby has retired from the Military, we are here to stay!  That being said it is time for me to shake off the funk and start looking for things I like about my new home.  This will be my last complaint about Florida.  I will find things I enjoy about living here if it Kills me lol!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Let Mother Nature do the Heavy Work

We went to Home Depot or Lowes garden centers to find out the best way to get some grass growing in our yard we got tons of sand here. What we found out is because this and we would have to buy tons of topsoil in Sod to get grass to grow here. Since this is where we are going to be staying we decided to take the long view. 

Here outside my garage where the leaves have been piling up for who knows how long there is some nice rich soil underneath. How do i know its good soil it is loaded with earth worms.

 We have tons of trees here the leaves are everywhere so instead of bagging them up and having them hauled away we are moving them into the rest of the yard where the sand is taking over. 

So now when I mow the yard to keep the weeds in check  I also mulch up the leaves which will eventually turn into nice rich soil. The cost nothing but some nice hard work that I was going to do anyway.

Friday, June 13, 2014

How do you know a Company is Evil

When they do everything in their power to keep you from knowing about them.

Food industry groups sue to block Vermont's GMOs labeling law

Lawsuit challenges Vermont's GMO labeling law

Second Lawsuit Filed Against County’s Anti-GMO Law

Makes you wonder what they are trying to hide that the are willing to sue a state for giving consumers what they asked for.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Guardians of the Garden

We were cleaning up the back yard this weekend and I managed to snap a few photos of some of the gardens best friends. I didn't get a shot of the garter snake that jumped out and scared the crap outta me he was just too fast.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Now for the rest of the yard

The garden is going great.
Now what to do with the rest of the yard?

 The yard is a big sandy mess that I'm not sure what we are going to do with.  I would like some grass and a dog run to keep the "mess" in one area for easy clean up.  I was thinking of setting up a volley ball net in the the middle and keep the sand in that area to give the kids something to do outside.  We still have our cheap Toys R Us pool to set up and see if it survived being taking apart and moved.

And one of the problems with buying a house online if you never get the chance ask the previous owners about things you find around the house. For example what the heck are all these water pipes for and why don't they work? We found a timer for don't know if it's actually connected to them.  The water pipes actually worked once.
  The hubby has started digging up around them to try and figure them out but I think thats gonna take a while since we only have 2 days a week off and they're not the same days.   The one day we all have off at the same time we try to spend doing family stuff.  There always seems to be other things to do on the other days off but I guess if this is where we're going to retire here we're going to have to get it done.

Where is yard crashers when you need them lol

Friday, April 25, 2014

Looks like we are going to have some Yard Babies

I wanted to get closer but didn't want to disturb mama.  I hope you can see her ...she is a Morning Dove.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day Everyone. 
I finally got around to getting my garden growing.  Now if I can just keep the squirrels out!
With all the sand in the backyard I decided to go with a raised bed .... and of course my earthboxes for my tomatoes and peppers.  They grow really well in the earth boxes because of the water storage space at the bottom making sure they have plenty.  Since I am starting late and have had absolutely no luck growing my own... I bought some seedlings of the plants I have no problem growing.  That would be tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers.  I planted some seeds for corn, watermelon, beans and peas.  I thought I had pumpkin seeds but couldn't find them.   If I have good luck with this garden I want to build two more so I can keep crops growing and getting ripe for the whole season.  
With these smaller boxes I will be able to build a quick cold frame around them and grow longer.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Florida. ...Welcome to the frickin Sun Shine State

I'm just not seeing why people come here to retire ..... it's done nothing but rain...get really cold then more rain since I got here.  And what do I have to look forward to. Hot sticky way too humid summers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soon To Be

Well I am definitely in the gardening mood.  I started a little bitty salad garden in a old crock pot insert I bought at the thrift store for $.25. I saw it and thought that would make a nice pot for plants and at a quarter how can I lose.  Well now I'm using it for some salad greens and since they are cold weather veggies I will just keep replanting them through the hot Florida summer and save on store bought greens shipped in from else where.  I will just throw in some fresh compost after every harvest and keep some seedlings growing to transplant in.  I have also started some salad seedlings for the garden outside since the weather is just right.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Early Morning Visitor

The dogs were going absolutely nuts this morning and when I looked out the window it looked like Cricket the dog was trying to climb the side of the house.  Well it was rather early and I'm sure the neighbors weren't too happy with the noise so I headed outside.  When I looked to see what had Cricket's attention I had a Charlie Brown moment( remember Snoopy on his dog house) and saw this guy staring down.  I don't think he was very impressed with Crickets noisy display.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Who says it doesn't snow in Florida

How about that the land of sun and sand and we get snow...and I thought I would have to go on vacation to see it again.

Monday, January 27, 2014

So Much For A Sunny Paradise!

Just got this from the Schools.  Thought it might make my frozen friends up North Feel a little bit better lol ...

In anticipation of freezing rain and treacherous driving conditions and upon the recommendation from the meteorologist , Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County School Districts are cancelling school for Tuesday and Wednesday.  The safety of our students and staff is first and foremost in all decisions that are made by the school district.  If you have any questions, please call Niceville High School.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Is It Just Me?

I like millions of other like me here in the U.S. have the weight loss resolution.  I have been working on getting healthier for a while now and I have had my ups and downs.  Tell me if I'm crazy but doesn't seem like there are three times as many food commercials now then any other time of the year?  It's like all the fast food  companies and producers of junk food have all gotten together and said "Hey we have a dieting crisis here people ...we can't let these millions of consumers out from under our junk food grip!  What can we do to stop the exodus from our tasty fattening goodies to the healthy fruits and veggies they are starting to buy?   I know massive advertising. We will bombard the with images of all the things they are giving up .... every crunchy, cheesy, chewy, sweet and salty goodie on every channel all the time!  We will have them dumping those resolutions in no time at all mwahahahahahaha!!!"

Is it just me or what?

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year ...New Windows

HOLY COW ...... Has it really been over 2 months since my last post its amazing how fast time can fly sometimes.  Well Halloween was very depressing.  Here I am in a nice neighborhood with a side walk and everything and not one trick or  treater.  I can understand why we didn't get anyone in Long Island we lived next to the railroad tracks and didn't have a side walk and the road was rather dark.  I thought for sure I would get some kiddies in cute costumes this year but sadly no.

Thanksgiving was a quiet affair.  I wanted to go up to my Dad's house but it was a little cost prohibitive with having to find dog cat and lizard care.  I've been thinking of maybe getting a used RV so we can take everyone along on vacation.  I think the money we would save in pet lodging would cover the cost.  Well its a though anyway.

Christmas was quiet too but we were together and that was very nice since last Christmas my hubby was overseas.  He was gone for a year.  You might be wondering why I never mentioned it here but telling the world that you and your kids are home alone can make you a target to crazy people.  Just like bragging about getting ready to go on vacation on Facebook can get you the attention of burglars.  

This week we had our 1 big project taken care of... something that needed professionals not a do it yourself job...(we got lots of big do it yourself projects ahead lol). No this week we had ALL the windows and the patio door replace.  Double panes and Impact resistant which is great for the bills and hurricane season!   

Here is a few shots of the old windows
With these windows you could feel the cold just rushing in!

They had a weird second frame to put in Plexiglas covers in using magnets to hold it in place.
They didn't even have all of the covers so we couldn't cover up these energy wasters.
All the wood cross pieces blocked the light and cut down on the view.

The rail on the old door was bent in places it probably wouldn't have take much to break in through it.

You could feel the difference instantly  REALLY!!!  
Before you could catch pneumonia standing next to the old ones but next to the new ones nothing!  

Isn't my new door beautiful?

New windows let in so much more light and its much easier to see out!

The best part.... I can open EVERY single window before I could only open a few of them.  A couple of them wouldn't open and several had terrible fitting screens that would let in bugs so they stayed SHUT!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday Season  and have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!!!!